Author Topic: Model shows - the end of?  (Read 1759 times)

Offline stevehuckss396

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2018, 01:10:21 AM »
Here in the states there are a few things that may be contributing to low numbers of spectators. These are my own observations and things that have been relayed to me over the years.

1. I have talked to more than one person who said that they go to the shows and nothing seems to change. Many people display the same items year after year and don't come with anything new. Many builders are getting up there in age and just cant do it anymore. Others are so busy with life in general that there isn't time to get into the shop. Many i run into go every 2 or 3 years because there is not enough that changes year to year.

2. I cant count how many times a spectator has pulled out something cool out of there pocket and wanted to show and talk about it or need some help with it. Often these are engine parts where the engine is at home and there are 2 or 3 more with it. The builder for what ever reason didn't bring there stuff and display it. This also adds to problem number one. Something unseen would add interest to the show.

3. Not too many years ago the show was where you go to gather ideas for future projects. It was also where you go to see others work and get help with your projects from others who have successfully done what you are trying to do. Now with forums like this you have all the help you need. Ideas for projects are unlimited. There is also a feeling that there is no sense in spending the time and money to go see these models when you already seen them online and watched the build as it went along.

I think there is a new generation building models but there is a good chance we will never meet them. Kind of sad but that's the reality.
Do not be like the cat who wanted a fish but was afraid to get his paws wet.

Offline Ginger Nut

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2018, 02:07:44 AM »
Steve you've also hit the nail on the head.

One or two shows here downunder
Sydney's https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Antique-Machinery-Club-Inc-269659793078611/.[/b]]https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Antique-Machinery-Club-Inc-269659793078611/. is one I mentioned growing fast I miss going having moved 1000k away.
Lake Gold Smith in Victoria https://www.facebook.com/lakegoldsmith/
QLD Kingaroy which we haven't been to s yet https://www.facebook.com/VintageMachinery/

Campbelltown in Western Sydney also https://www.facebook.com/Campbelltown-Steam-Machinery-Museum-1477522595843850/

The two groups in Sydney's west are not 60k apart and both growing fast.


Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2018, 08:03:57 AM »
As Steve says you do hear people saying that the same old exhibits are entered year after year which will put people off. I have always entered different models from previous as I also like to see different work when I go back to a show. I notice that one of the exhibitions that is still going has a question on the entry form asking if the entry has been exhibited before and where so maybe they will give preference to new work over previously shown which I think is a good thing.

As I said in the other thread a lot of people go to shows for the trade stands, you hear far more complaining about there not being as many trades than you do saying there were not as many models so these exhibitors need to be supported. At the recent Bristol show a comment was made to me about why I paid what I did for a piece of metal. Yes I could have got it cheaper by mail order or e-bay but I would rather support the trades, only a couple of sales could be the deciding factor if they make a profit or a loss and that will be a big factor in whether they decide to come again next year.

Also support the organisers by paying the going rate for a ticket, don't gloat about being able to get cheap or free tickets or try and blag your way in by pretending to be a persons carer to try and get a fee entry. Again a few more ticket sales could be all it needs to get the takings to the point where the show may go ahead again or not be
economically viable.

I also mentioned in the other thread that over the years I have been making models that in the UK we have gone from one large show to maybe 10 or more if you include shows for all the separate branches of the hobby that were previously covered by that one exhibition. I feel we have/had got to a point where this number simply could no longer be supported and that is why some have fallen by the wayside. You only need look at the website of the company that puts on the Midlands show and see that they have 6 exhibitions all of which would have been under the one old MEX. Traders can't be expected to attend all of these, public won't want to pay to go to a show every month and if they do go they won't need much from the traders as they have not been making a list over 6 months but getting the items at last months show or cheaply from China.

J


Offline Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2018, 08:14:49 AM »
It's a small informal group that meet 2-3 times a year, usually have a speaker but there is as much chatting and catching up with others before and during lunch. Actually I would be happy if it were just the morning and no speaker just the chat is OK with me.

I like the talk bit  ::) I think you would find that less people would turn up if it was not there and I am not sure how many do the actual chatting I suspect it is about half.

I did think of organising a similar gathering in my garden to do a bit of model engine running and talk about our latest builds  :noidea: It has the advantage of being free to use and central to the south coast/London/Oxford. 

3. Not too many years ago the show was where you go to gather ideas for future projects. It was also where you go to see others work and get help with your projects from others who have successfully done what you are trying to do. Now with forums like this you have all the help you need. Ideas for projects are unlimited. There is also a feeling that there is no sense in spending the time and money to go see these models when you already seen them online and watched the build as it went along.

Yes, that is why I support the running of this forum as the local model engineering club no longer has anyone interested in actually building models or could provide any help and there are less quality shows to go to.

Also support the organisers by paying the going rate for a ticket, don't gloat about being able to get cheap or free tickets or try and blag your way in by pretending to be a persons carer to try and get a fee entry. Again a few more ticket sales could be all it needs to get the takings to the point where the show may go ahead again or not be economically viable.

We have 12 of us going to the show that is why we get a discount, some of those wouldn't go if the group was not going. And you could do with attending a few more shows yourself  :stickpoke: If people don't attend then they don't spend money  :ShakeHead:

Jo
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:22:00 AM by Jo »
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Offline RayW

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2018, 11:56:18 AM »
Jo,
A garden gathering would be a great idea.

Like the model shows, full scale vintage rallies have also suffered falling attendances over recent years. Many organisers have tended to treat stationary engine exhibitors as second class citizens, relegating the engine pens to some remote part of the rally field where the public often did not venture.
Tractor and engine clubs have also seen membership numbers declining dramatically, with many, including my own local club, folding, having at one time boasted a membership numbered in the hundreds.
It makes me wonder what will become of all our beautiful models when we are no longer around. I, for one, have nobody to hand mine on to, so at some point in the future, do I sell, donate to a museum, or just leave whoever is left to deal with my estate to make that decision?

Ray

Ray

Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2018, 12:17:01 PM »
Well....

Don't forget that when the finances are tight things like " hobbies " are the first to be shelved. There are many families struggling to keep a roof over their heads at present.

The internet now provides almost " instant " gratification in every area and the younger generation has firmly grasped this tool. Pictures, video all available in the comfort of home, or anywhere for that matter!

Having seen, first hand the amount of cost and effort that goes into preparing for a ME exhibition I can understand why suppliers might be reluctant to keep throwing away cash as each year passes.

Perhaps another point, based upon my past experience, the " sterility " of UK exhibitions? After visiting and exhibiting at the NAMES show where virtually everything was running, glad to report that the scale Gattling gun wasn't!! I never visited another UK exhibition again. I always preferred the stationary engine rally field where we could properly run our models.

Most importantly as technology moves forward so rapidly, more and more are embracing the
" throw away " society where " make and mend " has almost died. I'm happy to report that here, at least, another generation are becoming " capable " model engineers!

Cheers Graham.

Offline Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2018, 12:25:56 PM »
As Steve says you do hear people saying that the same old exhibits are entered year after year which will put people off. I have always entered different models from previous as I also like to see different work when I go back to a show. I notice that one of the exhibitions that is still going has a question on the entry form asking if the entry has been exhibited before and where so maybe they will give preference to new work over previously shown which I think is a good thing.

As I said in the other thread a lot of people go to shows for the trade stands, you hear far more complaining about there not being as many trades than you do saying there were not as many models so these exhibitors need to be supported. At the recent Bristol show a comment was made to me about why I paid what I did for a piece of metal. Yes I could have got it cheaper by mail order or e-bay but I would rather support the trades, only a couple of sales could be the deciding factor if they make a profit or a loss and that will be a big factor in whether they decide to come again next year.

Also support the organisers by paying the going rate for a ticket, don't gloat about being able to get cheap or free tickets or try and blag your way in by pretending to be a persons carer to try and get a fee entry. Again a few more ticket sales could be all it needs to get the takings to the point where the show may go ahead again or not be
economically viable.

J

Jason, If I understand your three proposed solutions correctly.

1  I should only exhibit a new model which has not been on show before, otherwise you may become bored. That would be bad news for the builders of big, long term or complex models which can take many years to complete.

2  I should only buy overpriced materials from the trade stands in order to support the traders. Unfortunately, show prices are often inflated to cover the trader's stand costs, travel and accommodation. I would prefer to support more deserving charitable causes

3  I should always buy an entrance ticket. An exhibitor, when supporting a show, can be expected to attend each day and sometimes the setting up day as well. The exhibitor has to pay his/her travel expenses and perhaps several nights in a hotel, out of their pocket, the only return being a complementary entrance ticket. Should I pay for the entrance ticket as well?

Mike
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 12:41:03 PM by Vixen »
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2018, 01:21:37 PM »
Mike

1. You shown new progress on your large long term projects so there is something new to see. Did you notice I spent more time talking to you about the Jupiter at Guildford than I did at Bristol which was only a month or two after as there was not so much new to see. I was talking more of people who have the same model or board with several models on who dust it off from one year to the next.

2. That bit of metal probably did not cost me much if any more than had I got it off the net as the postage cost would have increased the overall price. But it is a fact that if our suppliers are not supported at shows or even during the rest of the year then we will risk loosing them altogether not just from the show scene.

3. I have no problem with genuine exhibitors getting a ticket by way of a thank you for entering a model. It is when you see a model being taken to a show by someone else just so the builder can get a free ticket for the day they would have gone anyway or others abusing the tickets given out to clubs for stewards.

Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2018, 01:38:11 PM »
Jo,
A garden gathering would be a great idea.

Like the model shows, full scale vintage rallies have also suffered falling attendances over recent years. Many organisers have tended to treat stationary engine exhibitors as second class citizens, relegating the engine pens to some remote part of the rally field where the public often did not venture.
Tractor and engine clubs have also seen membership numbers declining dramatically, with many, including my own local club, folding, having at one time boasted a membership numbered in the hundreds.
It makes me wonder what will become of all our beautiful models when we are no longer around. I, for one, have nobody to hand mine on to, so at some point in the future, do I sell, donate to a museum, or just leave whoever is left to deal with my estate to make that decision?

Ray

Hi Ray.

You brought up some valid points. Years ago we were occasionally discussing how the rally field organisers seemed to be forgetting that it was the exhibits and their owners that " actually " made a show! Sadly most of the newer events have become little more than " Sunday " markets, with a few stationary engines thrown in.

Mikes earlier post draws attention to " our " expense, a four day event like the Cheshire Show back in the late 80's would cost me over 200.00 in lost wages and food etcetera. All to show off our prized exhibits. Nothing asked in return!

Regarding your models, Vincent's entire collection and workshop nearly ended up in the hands of the
" scrappers " !! No will, no children, a single phone call the day before the funeral was the first I knew about his passing. Luckily Geoff and I managed to gain permission to save his lifetimes work.

Cheers Graham.

Offline PJPickard

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2018, 02:23:48 PM »
The ME Exhibition show is gone??? I grew up reading Model Engineer and loved to read about the show and all the models, tools, etc. That show has been on my bucket list for decades. I guess I can cross it off the list now  :(

Offline gbritnell

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2018, 02:32:45 PM »
 This is over simplifying the question but, it's a sign of the times.

 I have been a model builder all my life starting with plastic and balsa when I was 8-9 years old. When a company called AMT came out with plastic model cars in the late 50's me and my buddies were in styrene heaven. New suppliers were emerging every day contests were being held at local 5 and 10 stores and models were being presented in magazines like Hot Rod and Car Craft, not to mention plastic's own publications.
I still belong to a local plastic modeling group, we meet once a month and hold swap meets and club contests. We have discussions on how to bring in new members and get people interested in the hobby but the interest just isn't there. Sure there are fabulous plastic models being assembled and detailed but in general it's by a very much smaller group of people than in years past. A sign of the times.

 I have, like Steve, been an avid hot-rodder all my life going back to my very early teens, 1958. Back then most of the guys in school loved cars, not just the car guys but most of the school crowd. Although I couldn't drive I had buddies that were a couple of years older who could and I was always around when they were working on their cars, brake jobs, water pumps, tune ups and full on engine rebuilds.
A lot of us got into drag racing so we learned more about engines from magazines like the ones previously mentioned. We would then apply that knowledge to making our engines more potent.
When my sons were growing up and got their first cars I told them I would show them how to work on their cars, mainly maintenance jobs but it taught them how to work with mechanical things.
In the 70's with the mandate for better fuel mileage and lower emissions electronics emerged which required a whole different skill set and tools and instruments for diagnosing problems. The backyard mechanic has all but disappeared. I have a group of friends who are still into cars, mainly the older ones and we hold a weekly gathering generally at one friend's house because he has his shop out away from the house. We sit around and talk about the old days and the future of the hobby, alternate fuels, hybrids and electric. Attending the local shows generally reflects the age group that's involved in the car hobby, in a word, old. There's not many young people who want to restore a 1957 Chevrolet or can they afford it. Yes, yes, yes there are people still working on cars and engines but in most cases they cater to a much richer clientele. A sign of the times.

 Now onto the hobby that we hold dear, miniature engineering. Let's face it, we were a limited group in numbers right from the beginning. As an example I worked with almost 300 other metal tradesmen in my career where you would think that there would be a lot more interest in things mechanical, but there wasn't.
 I started my modeling career building Stuart steam engines, I.C. was non existent except for model airplane engines. To build an engine specialized tools were needed, lathes, drill presses, milling machines or attachments. A whole other skill set was also required. There were no engineering shows. If you wanted to display your work you had to attend any of the numerous antique engine shows. Some even had a building where you could set up.
The hobby was by word of mouth or by the few publications that evolved around the hobby, in the States that included Live Steam, Strictly I.C. and Home Shop Machinist. There were no computers or Internet, not even digital cameras.
 The hobby grew over the years, there were suppliers for all of your needs and I.C. engines emerged in the form of hit and miss engines or the likes of the Wall line of engines. At this point let me interject and say that yes there were more sophisticated I.C. engines being built in England but like I said the Internet hadn't been born, at least as we know it so other than a few people this information wasn't available.
 The first major show that I know of and attended was one held at Domino's Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This was the start of what we now know as NAMES. Cabin Fever show developed along with the Black Hills, Estevan, and several on the west coast, Gears was one. Sadly the west coast shows in themselves have disappeared although the modelers do exhibit in conjunction with other events.
 Several points have emerged as this thread goes on. The first is that the public doesn't attend because they're tired of seeing the same things year after year. I understand that but as we all know some projects take years to complete, not just from the enormity of the project but the time a person has to devote to his or her hobby. My latest 'big' project is my flathead engine which from start to finish has almost 2-1/2 years in it. When I attend a show I take my usual engines plus I always have at least one or two new things. So many times I've heard people say that they come every year just to see a particular engine.
 The hobby, much like the aforementioned examples, is declining. The modeling crowd is getting older, the interest in machining isn't there due to the demise of trade schools, apprenticeships, CNC and just general interest.
We feel it's a shame that these shows are going away but times have changed. It's a whole different world out there. All of the hobbies that I have embraced over the years are slowly disappearing. As much as I would like to there's nothing I can do about it.

 A show that was started about 10 years ago, The Mid-East Ohio Model Engineering Show, has seen declining attendance and therefore reduced revenues to maintain the venue so this year they combined it with a car and airplane show. As far as I am concerned the modeling part of the show was a great success. There was a whole new crowd of people that had never seen anything like it. I had people coming back 2 and 3 times to see my engines. Maybe rather than just putting  on a modeling show that has the same people attending year after year the organizers might look at combining the models with another similar venue. If anyone follows the BAEM website (west coast modeling organization) they know that they have paired up with a large car show, The Goodguys, and other venues, to exhibit their work. I'm not saying that this will revive an interest in our hobby but maybe it will prolong it.

 It's a sign of the times!

George D. Britnell
 
 
 

   
Talent unshared is talent wasted.

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2018, 03:00:23 PM »
The ME Exhibition show is gone???  :(

Nothing definate has been said but I do have my doubts that it will return.

Offline RayW

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2018, 04:59:41 PM »
Mike makes a very valid point about exhibitors being asked to pay an entry fee. I know of one particular vintage rally where the organisers tried this and effectively killed the rally that year as exhibitors voted with their feet and stayed away in their droves.
I used to travel from Kent to the Tatton 1000 rally near Manchester(Five and a half hours each way)  for several years in my motorhome towing a large engine on a trailer and I reckon it cost me 100 - 150 In fuel, etc to attend. Unlike the steam exhibitors, who got free supplies of coal, stationary engine owners received no contribution towards their costs. Let's not forget that without exhibitors, organisers would not have a show.

Ray
Ray

Online JC54

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2018, 09:41:01 PM »
I agree completely Ray, we  were exhibiting vintage tractors and one year the organizers of a local show decided that we would have to pay for the privilege of showing tractors we all voted with our feet. The organizers realized 1 week before event that they only had 6 tractors entered instead of the 150 from previous years and panicked, contacted previous exhibitors who basically said "***k **f  we had booked in elsewhere.
     You cannot run these shows at a loss but if you don't  look after the exhibitors and suppliers then you haven't got a show. :old: :DrinkPint:




















t

Offline Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2018, 11:12:07 PM »
I am still of the opinion that  it would be a great help to the MEM forum members if our Admins were to create a new Forthcoming Events category, which is easy to find and use by the members. Any member can add the details of any local club events for all to see. Of particular interest would be details of events where the organisers are prepared to host visiting model exhibitors, by providing covered table space etc. 

OK there is a Show category, but that is intended for members to post reports and photos of past events. Besides, any future event would quickly become lost among the show reports and would not therefore serve the intended purpose. A new Forthcoming Events category would act as a calendar for the next year, making  it easier for anyone to find event information and plan their weekends well in advance. The new category could have separate sections for the UK, Europe, the USA and one for the rest of the world.

The alternative could be to use the existing calendar feature, but that feature does does not seem to work correctly at the moment. We could get it fixed.

Bill, Jo, Dave and any other Admin, what are your views on creating a new Forthcoming Events category, to help our members to enjoy and get the most out of this wonderful hobby obsession of ours.
You could make it happen.

Mike
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 11:34:24 PM by Vixen »
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